It was 6 a.m. The sun was loudly announcing the coming of a new day in riotous colors – magenta and orange and gold. Father Time, an old man, white – bearded and gnarled as an old oak tree, had tossed the hat to the Baby New Year, and 2012 was ushered in! I stood on the porch, awe-struck, and watched the first sunrise of the new year arrive, blinking and yawning and waving its fists like a new born infant; fraught with possibility. A whole, new year was ahead of me! Why, anything could happen!
A baby does that to you, doesn’t it? A brand new baby fills you with wonder, and hopes and dreams! You grasp tiny hands, marvel at the smallness of fingernails; take off miniscule socks to count tiny toes. And, when you look into those eyes, you get the feeling that you are looking into an old soul, too wise for this world, and suddenly, nothing seems impossible anymore. You dare to imagine all sorts of things and begin to plan how to put those dreams in motion. No wonder they chose a baby as the symbol of the New Year! A baby changes everything!
Perhaps that is why, when God came down to be one of us, he came down as a baby. Perhaps God wanted to experience everything it meant to be human. To experience how it felt to be helpless, totally dependent on others for food, for warmth, for affection, for life itself – and yet, still have the power to bring kings to their knees.
Three kings, Wise Men from the East, journeyed far to find a baby – the king of the Jews. Strangers to the faith, they didn’t know they were searching for God until they found him. But, when they did, they were filled with wonder! They looked into those eyes – the eyes of an old soul – and knew immediately that this was the baby they were looking for. They dropped to their knees and worshipped him – the One they had never known.
An epiphany! A revelation! The Christ child was revealed to strangers! And from that day on, we who were once strangers were brought into the fold! Grafted onto the vine and adopted as children of God, we celebrate the New Year with an eye to January 6th – the day of the Epiphany of our Lord, when Jesus was revealed to be the Lord of all, not just a special few. And, one day, everyone will know him.
As the sun topped the trees, beams of golden light spread out like a fan across the morning sky. The stars disappeared from view, all except that bright, morning star – always the last to fade. I imagined that it rivaled the star that led the Wise Men to the baby Jesus; Jesus – the Bright Morning Star… and I realized with a jolt that I would follow that Star anywhere!
May 2012 be a year full of joyous epiphanies for you, as you seek the God who allows himself to be found. Looking forward to journeying with you!
Happy New Year!
Pastor Barb <><
Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! Philippians 2:10-11